An '''incentive''' is something that motivates an individual to perform an action. The study of incentive structures is central to the study of all economic activities (both in terms of individual decision-making and in terms of co-operation
within a larger institutional structure). Economic analysis, then, of the differences between societies (and between different organizations within a society) largely amounts to characterizing the differences in '''incentive structures''' faced by individuals involved in these collective efforts. Ultimately, incentives aim to provide value for money and contribute to organizational success.